Tuesday, March 5, 2013

100th Post! Elder Henry's report from Canoas March 4th: Gauchos don't like spicy food.

We took Tori & Spencer to Disneyland--the older kids got to go on all kinds of choir tours and trips as they were growing up and we cut down on activities with these two.  They are such good kids who make good choices we wanted to reward them for making our life easier!

Dear Mom,
I loved the pictures from Disneyland. Looks like you all had a great trip there! Disneyland is definitely on my radar for things I want to do in the near-future. Especially being so close to Long Beach. I'm glad you enjoyed the sun, This last week we had a pretty mild week in the 90's and today and yesterday its raining.
That's great news about Kelsey being re-hired. I figured she would be, I mean who wouldn't want her as a teacher?
Ever since the beginning of this year, all foreign language missionaries had their MTC time cut by a third. So Sherry will stay in the MTC for 6 weeks instead of 9 (lucky...). The new greenies were supposed to come in this transfer but all the Americans got stuck in the US, so instead of receiving 20 new missionaries we got 12. The first 19-year-old Sisters haven't arrived yet. I didn't get an opportunity to buy a new battery for the camera. I'll have to look around today in Downtown Canoas, there should be a shop there that sells batteries for cameras. For my birthday in April, I really don't want a package. I'd rather celebrate my Birthday in July, and go and buy the things I'm going to need for college next year. By the time I get a mission package here, I'll be just about finishing up the mission and won't really need anything.
Mathias Velho is smaller than Gravataí, but not by much. Gravataí had an average frequency of 130 people in Sacrament meeting. Here its more like 100-110. Also our Chapel is an older smaller model, so the sacrament meeting room only holds 130 people, and the last two weeks was packed. I had a hard time finding a seat! Its the same style of chapel that I had in Rio Pardo, more fit for a Branch than a Ward.
The Mexican fiesta was pretty successful overall. We had 3 investigator families there, as well as a couple friends of the young men. We marked to teach all of them this week, and they all have pretty good potential to accepting the gospel. The food was a bit of a fiasco, because nobody liked the taco meat. They all complained that it was waaaay too spicy. I just laughed in their faces as I told them that I didn't even put HALF the pepper that the recipe called for. One thing's for sure, I'm never going to open a mexican restaurant here in the South. Gaucho's (the name for Brazilian cowboys--Southern Brazil/Argentina area) don't like Pepper, end of story XD. I loved the tacos though, tasted just like home ;).
We had a great lesson this Saturday as well with A. She and M have to get married legally before she can be baptised. We brought a member with us named D. He's a long time friend of M and helped a ton in our lesson. Actually I was fasting this Saturday-Sunday specifically for her to have the desire to be baptised, and at the end of our lesson on Saturday she told us, "Look if it weren't for this whole marriage thing, I'd go and be baptised tomorrow!" Unfortunately marriage takes a lot of time here in Brasil, so probably she won't be baptised until April.
We are also teaching a great family, J and L. They are friends of a less active member, and they remind me a lot of J and M in Rio Pardo. 
I just looked through a couple of the letters I sent home to you guys almost a year ago. Haha, what a trip. Its like I went back in time for a few minutes and was re-living the moments when I was writing to you. Something I saw is that the first week I arrived in Gravataí I said, well Gravataí has about 20x more problems than Rio Pardo, and now I'm feeling the exact same way with Mathias Velho XD. Except now looking back its like Gravataí was an AWESOME area, and Rio Pardo was an AWESOME area. Why is it only awesome after you leave?! I was feeling a little bit down this Saturday after the ward didn't really like the food on Friday, but I was really comforted on Sunday. We had 3 or 4 members get up and bore their testimonies about how they are seeing a change in the ward, and how the missionaries that are here now (Elder Henry and Elder Moura) are doing an awesome job. The members that went on splits with us also talked about how their testimonies were strengthened as they went out with us. It was really good to see that there really is a change going on in this ward, even if times are rough right now, the ward is preparing itself for growth, and when the ward is prepared to grow, missionary work explodes :).

I love you guys, I'm really happy to know that you'll had a great time at Disneyland :)

Elder Henry

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